Canadian Elite Basketball League delays start of season

CKTB - NEWS - Niagara River Lions

The start of the Niagara River Lion's season is being pushed back again.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League has decided to start the 14-game 2021 season on June 24th instead of June 5th.

CEBL Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Mike Morreale still hopes to allow fans to watch in-person when the season tips off. "Getting our players onto the basketball court and accommodating our fans in a safe manner continues to be our priority. Out of respect for the gravity of the mounting challenges that people, businesses, government and medical leaders, and most importantly frontline workers are experiencing in many of our teams' markets, we now also feel it would be tone-deaf to not delay the start of our season as late as we can while still respecting the integrity of a season in which we plan to play in each of our seven team markets."

The CEBL was the first professional sports league in Canada to return to play during the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting a single-site summer series last year at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines over 15 days.

Players, coaching staff, and other officials were regularly tested before and during the series.

Local sports fans already had some bad news earlier this week when the Ontario Hockey League announced the 2020-21 season would not be going forward.